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ELDER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
OCTOBER 2, 2018
PORTLAND, OR AT MODA CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
ANNOUNCERS: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-The show began with Tom Phillips welcoming the audience to Smackdown Live. Smackdown General Manager Paige was then introduced, and was already in the center of the ring. Paige said that when she received the job as general manager, she was told that it would be exhilarating, emotional, and exhausting. Paige said that she never expected to be in the situation that Samoa Joe had put her in with his actions last week. Paige called Joe’s actions completely out of line, and added that he had committed the most dastardly crime in WWE history. Paige then threw to a video highlight of Samoa Joe’s interaction with A.J. Styles from last week.
-Paige then reassured the fans that A.J.’s family was OK, and that WWE had sent the authorities to Styles’ house immediately after that footage was taken. Paige added that Joe did not enter the house, but a report was filed and Samoa Joe was charged with trespassing. Paige said that after discussing it with WWE executives, Samoa Joe should be fired for his actions. Paige said that she called A.J. before arriving at that decision, but Styles told her that he was dropping the charges against Joe, and asked Paige not to fire him. A.J. said that Joe would then disappear, and that he would not be able to get his hands on Joe, which Paige agreed with. Paige said that A.J. asked if he could dole out the punishment for Samoa Joe, and Paige allowed it, so their match at Super Showdown is still on.
-Paige then threw to a video of A.J. Styles addressing the crowd from his own living room. Styles apologized to the crowd for not being there, but said that he could not leave his house due to recent circumstances. Styles added that he is not leaving his house until he gets confirmation that Samoa Joe is on a plane to Australia. A.J. said that he needed to be at his house for his four amazing kids, Annie in particular, who has woken up recent nights looking for her “Uncle Joe.” Styles said that this all needed to end, and that Joe would not be returning from his match in Australia, because he is going to bury Joe alive.
(Elder’s analysis: Well, I don’t mind the premise here, with Styles stepping in to block Joe from being fired, but I felt the execution was off. A.J.’s speech sounded too scripted and unnatural, particularly his points about his daughter waking worried about “Uncle Joe” and the way he apparently wants to legitimately bury Joe in Australia. This feud has gotten as personal as a PG era feud could really get, so I would have preferred something that sounded more natural and heartfelt as supposed to A.J. just going out of his way to hype a specific match in a specific location. Joe went to your house A.J! You want revenge now! Don’t you?)
-Tom Phillips then hyped the match between Styles and Joe scheduled for Super Show Down, as well as Aiden English’s proof regarding Lana’s actions in Milwaukee, and promised that Becky Lynch will be there with a surprise tonight as well.
-R Truth then made his way to the ring with Carmella before they cut to their first commercial break. [c]
-Back from break, Andrade “Cien” Almas made his way down to the ring with Zelina Vega.
(1) ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS & ZELINA VEGA vs. R-TRUTH & CARMELLA
Vega and Carmella started the match out slowly with each taking turn to taunt each other. Truth and Almas were then tagged in with Truth getting the edge with a clothesline. Almas and Vega then executed a well choreographed “tranquillo” pose, which Truth and Carmella answered with impressive splits of their own. As Almas and Vega left the ring, Truth and Mella took a few seconds for a dance break, which prompted “Truth TV” chants from the crowd. The show then cut to a commercial break with the match continuing in PIP. [c]
Almas took control during the break, hitting Truth with a spinning elbow. The pace then slowed as Almas remained in control with an arm lock. As the break ended, Truth hit Almas with a dropkick and then made it to Carmella for the hot tag. Carmella hit Vega with a bronco buster followed by a flat liner and then covered her for the pin. Almas pulled Carmella off of Vega which caused the two to have a brief stare down. Carmella then threw a kick, but Almas caught it. Before Almas to reverse anything, Truth appeared and took Almas down with some strikes which caused both men to leave the ring. Vega then tried to roll Carmella up by surprise, but after a series of reversals, Carmella locked on a Code of Silence which caused Vega to tap quickly.
WINNER: R-Truth & Carmella via submission in 10:00.
(Elder’s Analysis: A pretty well executed match. The crowd is really continuing to get behind the pairing of R Truth and Carmella. The match itself was nothing special, but the teams had good chemistry, and the tranquillo poses followed by a dance break gave it extra personality. WWE haven’t really given us much of a reason for this feud, other than just a way to introduce Truth and Carmella as a pair, but they are showing a lot of faith in the duo by having them start off the show once again.)
-Backstage Tye Dillinger walked up to Paige and told her that he wanted Randy Orton. Dillinger said that Orton’s attack on him last week was unprovoked, and that fighting Orton is something that he needs to do. Paige told Dillinger that while she doesn’t understand why men need to do the things that they do, she does appreciate the fire that it has lit under him, because he will get his match later tonight.
-The New Day made their way down to the ring wearing chef hats and accompanied by Mr. Bootyworth, who came out with a bow tie and top hat while holding a plate of pancakes. The show then went to commercial break. [c]
-Back from break, The New Day are in the center of the ring with Mr. Bootyworth and a table set up with all the ingredients to make pancakes. Big E. welcomed everyone to the first episode of “New Day Cooks.” Xavier Woods then hyped their match against Sheamus & Cesaro at Super Show Down. New Day then said that Sheamus & Cesaro have gotten the better of them lately, and now they need the power of positivity.
-The New Day then introduced the crowd to Mr. Bootyworth, and said that he is the man responsible for making all of their pancakes that they toss to the crowd every week, and he is now prepared to share his recipe. As Mr. Bootyworth was about to speak, he was cut off by the music of Sheamus & Cesaro, who then made their way down towards the ring. Xavier Woods said that they were ruining everything, but Sheamus suggested that they were going to make it better. Sheamus suggested that Cesaro is great at baking and Cesaro himself said that people back home in Switzerland refer to him as chef. Now in the ring, Sheamus said that he knows how to make the baking process more efficient before he flipped over The New Day’s table, which caused the two teams to begin to fight.
-As The New Day were setting up their finisher, Sheamus threw a bowl of flour at Kofi Kingston who was on the top rope at the time. Sheamus & Cesaro then threw Woods into the ring post and hit Big E with their finisher. With The New Day down, they turned to look at Mr. Bootyworth, who looked very nervous. They appeared to be suggesting to Mr. Bootyworth that everything was OK as Cesaro began mixing the bowl of pancake batter while Sheamus held the guy’s top hat. However, Cesaro then poured the batter into the hat and Sheamus then put the hat on Mr. Bootyworth’s head. Cesaro then poured the remaining batter over Mr. Bootyworth’s shoulders.
(Elder’s Analysis: I just feel like I have seen these teams mix it up so many times that it is hard to get excited any more. The whole pancake obsession has gotten stale. I would be excited to see either one of these teams really enter a new chapter, because they are all great workers. But as it stands, both teams could use a shake-up of some sorts.)
-The announcing team then hyped Sheamus & Cesaro’s scheduled match against The New Day at Super Show Down. They then hyped Aiden English’s Milwaukee proof as well at Becky Lynch’s surprise. The team then told the audience that WWE 2K19 would be available one week from tonight, and threw to a new advertisement for the game before going to a commercial break. [c]
-Back from break, a few promos aired for the Mixed Match Challenge. Tom Phillips then told the audience how to access the Mixed Match Challenge via the WWE app.
-With Tye Dillinger already in the ring, Randy Orton entered the arena to his music. As he made his way to the ring, Phillips and Graves showed video of Orton’s attack on Dillinger last week. Phillips then went on to hype Smackdown’s upcoming 1000th episode which will feature a reunion of the Evolution stable.
-Tye Dillinger abruptly attacked Randy Orton before Orton could make it into the ring. Dillinger then dropped Orton onto the announcer’s table and pounded Orton with punches while on top of the table. Dillinger then went to toss Orton into the barricade but Orton reversed the Irish whip. While Dillinger managed to jump over the barrier, he was caught by Orton with a hanging DDT onto the floor. Orton then proceeded to smack Dillinger with the steel steps. Orton then removed the padding from the turnbuckle screw and proceeded to put Dillinger’s finger in between the fastening device. Orton then yanked Orton’s finger backwards. Orton then briefly stood on the steps and gazed into the crowd as Dillinger was on the ground in agony.
(Elder’s Analysis: I admit that I have not always been the biggest Randy Orton fan. I have to say, however, that his recent sadistic demeanor has been fascinating. His attack on Dillinger showed that his assaults on Jeff Hardy weren’t necessarily personal, and that he just feels the need to pick an individual out and decimate them before moving on to the next victim. I am still waiting to see if Shinsuke Nakamura plays into it any further, but either way, he has been must watch TV over the last couple of months.)
-The announcing team then announced that Daniel Bryan will be going one on one against Shelton Benjamin tonight.
-Backstage, The Miz approached Shelton Benjamin and said “You’re welcome.” Miz proceeded to say that he admires all of Benjamin’s accomplishments and then said that it was he who put in a word with Paige to get Benjamin the match with Daniel Bryan. Miz then asked Benjamin if he was going to beat Bryan tonight, which Shelton replied with a yes. Miz then said that he needed Benjamin to do more than that, and that he needs maim Bryan, and rip his beard off and feed it to him. Miz told Benjamin to make a statement against Bryan. Benjamin told Miz that his statement was that he has been sitting on the bench week after week waiting for a chance to show the world who he was, and that Daniel Bryan is just the unlucky casualty number one. Miz said that that was a show that he would want to see, and that he will be on commentary for the match. Miz then thanked Shelton and the two shook hands before the cameras cut away.
-Aiden English was backstage and asked an assistant if the video truck was ready. English added that what he was going to show the WWE Universe was going to be revelatory, and that it will need to be seen in hi-def. Corey Graves chimed in by excitedly adding “Oh my god, one night in Milwaukee, next!” before the show went to commercial break. [c]
-Back from break, Rusev and Lana made their way to the ring. The announcing team then showed a video highlight of Aiden English’s attack on Rusev two weeks ago.
-Rusev addressed the crowd and said that by English attacking him two weeks ago, he ended both their tag team and their friendship. Rusev then reminded us that English had said that he had evidence about something happening in Milwaukee regarding Rusev’s wife, Lana, and that made Rusev want to tear English apart. Rusev then asked Aiden English to come out like a man and expose his evidence.
-English came out and said that he had the evidence right there, but went on to give a variety of facts about Milwaukee. Lana suggested that English was just stalling because he had no real evidence, but English promised that he was just providing in context. English then said that we will get to see the most anticipated premiere of the past decade which he called “One night in Milwaukee.”
-English then threw to a video of himself shirtless in a locker room, preparing a song for that night in Milwaukee. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and when English answered it was shown to be Lana. English asked Lana what was up. Lana told English that she had something to tell him that she had been thinking about for a long time, and that it was important for her to say it out loud. Lana then told English “I want you.” Rusev shook his head in disbelief at Lana. English said that he wanted to show the rest, but he couldn’t because of legal reasons. English said that he is waiting on a very attractive offer from TMZ, and he would not want to “cheat on him.” Lana could be heard telling Rusev that there was more to that video, and Rusev exclaimed “There’s more?” Rusev then took off after English who retreated backstage. Lana was then shown alone in the ring looking on upset.
(Elder’s Analysis: Well, I guess this is what we all expected. English played it up nicely and got the well deserved heel heat. Rusev is super-loveable, so the crowd will be quick to side with him over Lana if she cannot provide an adequate explanation. For such a random pairing at first, this team, with Lana by their side, has had a really fun ride, and this promises to continue to get better as it plays out.)
-The announcing team then threw to a video highlight of Shawn Michaels’ appearance on Raw last night, as well as Kane and Undertaker’s beat down of Michaels and Triple H. They then hyped Undertaker vs. Triple H for the last time ever, which is scheduled for Super Show Down this Saturday.
-The announcing team then hyped a Super Showdown surprise by Becky Lynch for later tonight.
-Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring to a strong “yes chant” as Philips noted that he will be facing Shelton Benjamin next. [c]
-Back from break, Rusev is backstage wondering aloud where Aiden English has disappeared to. Lana caught up with him and wanted to talk it out, but Rusev told her that they were not doing that there, and he walked off angrily as Lana looked on.
-The announcing team welcomed Miz to the table as the match between Shelton Benjamin and Daniel Bryan began. After Graves asked the question, Miz said that he loved the drama between Rusev and Lana.
(3) SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. DANIEL BRYAN
Benjamin started off strong with The Miz voicing his approval from ringside. Bryan managed to get Benjamin in a Yes Lock but Benjamin reached the rope to break the hold. The action then spilled to the outside and Benjamin threw Bryan into the barrier and continued the offensive attack as they cut to commercial break. [c]
Back from break, Daniel Bryan connected with Benjamin with a diving head butt. (This appeared to be a botch. Benjamin was rolling out of the way and Bryan landed forehead first onto the back of Benjamin’s head. With Bryan’s concussion history, this was an unnecessary chance to take.) Benjamin then took control until a toehold sent Benjamin head first into the turnbuckle. Benjamin then reacted with a running knee followed by a belly to back suplex. Benjamin attempted a drop from the second rope but Bryan countered with a huracanrana. Bryan then landed some Yes Kicks. As Bryan was getting in position to strike with running knees, Miz said that he was so sick of watching this, and he jumped up onto the apron. Bryan saw him and immediately ran over and pushed him off. Benjamin capitalized on the distraction and hit Bryan with a Pay Dirt before covering him for the pin.
WINNER: Benjamin by pin fall in 8:00.
(Elder’s Analysis: Miz was great on commentary, as he continues to be potentially the best talker in the company. It will be interesting to see if Shelton Benjamin plays into this feud any further. He looked good in the ring tonight. The match itself was a fun affair overall, but that one botched diving head butt was a scary moment.)
-After the match, Miz went on the attack against Bryan. Miz targeted Bryan’s ribs and slammed him repeatedly against the announcer’s table. Corey Graves commented that Miz is hungry, and maybe Daniel Bryan has lost his hunger, which Phillips disagreed with. Miz then hit Bryan with a Skull Crushing Finale on Bryan in the center of the ring. Phillips then hyped Daniel Bryan’s match against The Miz scheduled for Super Show Down as Byron Saxton commented that there is no limit to how low The Miz will stoop to give him an edge.
-Corey Graves then threw to a video highlight of Raw from last night in which Dolph Ziggler attacked Seth Rollins during Rollins’ match against Drew McIntyre. Roman Reigns was going to make the save, but Braun Strowman appeared to help the heels. Dean Ambrose came to help his Shield teammates but Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman got the best of them. They then hyped The Shield’s match against Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman scheduled for Super Show Down.
-Tom Phillips then hyped Asuka vs. Peyton Royce coming up next.
-Back from break, Naomi is in the ring with Dana Warrior and three other women from the Susan G. Komen foundation. They showed a video package promoting breast cancer awareness. Naomi then introduced the women individually as the announcing team urged viewers to donate to the cause.
-Asuka made her way down to the ring as Tom Phillips recounted how she and Naomi have become close friends as of late. Peyton Royce then made her way down to the ring accompanied by Billie Kaye. A short clip of them showing off their dance moves was shown before cutting to a commercial break. [c]
(4) ASUKA vs. PEYTON ROYCE (w/Billie Kaye)
Back from break, the match was already under way. The announcing team welcomed everyone back to episode #998 of Smackdown. Peyton was in control early but failed to get a three count on a few pin attempts. After some groundwork by Royce, Asuka made her comeback. Asuka landed a dropkick from the second rope but managed only a two count in a pin attempt. Asuka locked in an ankle lock but Royce made her way to the ropes. Billie Kaye attempted to assist her but Naomi came over and knocked her away. Asuka then caught Royce in the Asuka Lock which caused Royce to tap out.
WINNER: Asuka via submission in 3:00.
(Elder’s analysis: More standard fare here. Three minute matches between some combinations of these four women. As with many recent weeks, this just felt like filler, which is unfair to all of the competitors involved. They aren’t being given the time to get anyone invested in the animosity between the teams.)
-Following the match, the announcing team hyped Becky Lynch’s announcement coming up next. [c]
-Back from break, Rusev & Lana and Naomi & Jimmy Uso were shown hyping their upcoming match for the Mixed Match Challenge.
-Becky Lynch made her entrance as Graves hyped her match against Charlotte scheduled for Super Show Down. Lynch addressed the crowd from the center of the ring, standing next to a large covered photo sitting on an easel. Lynch said that six weeks ago at Summerslam, she stopped waiting and started taking. Lynch added that since then, she has been the best thing on Smackdown Live. Lynch said after plowing through the locker room, she now runs the division. Becky said that she now strikes first and is relentless. Lynch then threw to a video package highlighting her recent animosity with Charlotte Flair and the aftermath of their match at Hell in a Cell.
-The crowd clearly enjoyed the video, and chanted “Becky” after it ended. Lynch then asked why she still isn’t getting the respect she deserves. Lynch asked where her new action figure with a championship title is, as well as why she isn’t on the cover of any magazines. Lynch said that she had to suffer the indignity of seeing the woman she beat posing for photographs for magazines which garnered boos from the crowd. Lynch said that this Saturday, it will be her face, the champ’s face that deserves to be on the covers, billboards, and pay per view posters. Lynch added that it was her face that is the face of the company, and if no one is going to do it for her, then she will do it herself. Lynch said that she had gone through the trouble of designing a new poster for Super Show Down. Lynch asked for a drum roll and then unveiled the photo which showed her holding her championship belt with her foot on a downed Charlotte Flair. The crowd loved the photo, and as Becky continued, Charlotte’s music hit, and she quickly removed a coat and ran down to the ring. Lynch got the upper hand but was quickly over taken by Flair. Flair put Lynch in a hanging figure four leg lock, and then hit her with a big boot. As the crowd was chanting “Becky,” Charlotte let out her patented “Wooooo!” Charlotte then walked back up the ramp and pointed at her chest, calling herself “the only queen” as Lynch sat in the ring, looking on as she clutched her title. The announcing team then hyped Lynch and Flair’s match at Super Show Down before once again hyping the pay per view itself before Smackdown went off the air. [c]
(Elder’s analysis: Wow. What a reaction from the crowd. They loved Becky’s arrogance, and wholeheartedly supported her boastful comments. At first I was worried that they were going to ruin Lynch’s connection with fans by having her continue to go for cheap heat with comments about the city and crowd each night. That would really be wasting a character that so genuinely and naturally got over with the crowd over the last couple of years. It would be equally difficult to generate sympathy for Charlotte, a natural heel who has been at or near the top of the women’s division since she arrived on the main roster. Now it actually feels like they may not try to force the crowd’s opinions, and are actually willing to embrace that the crowd is going to be cheering for this heel. I really enjoyed the video segment that they threw together, and Lynch’s speech mixed with the passionate crowd really made this segment hit tonight.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought this was one of the stronger episodes of Smackdown in recent memory. There is a lot of momentum heading into Super Show Down. Rusev and Aiden English’s angle is great TV, and Becky Lynch has made the top of Smackdown’s women’s division feel important again. Randy Orton’s continued sadism has been a blast to watch, and Daniel Bryan and The Miz continue to march towards their inevitable showdown. There unfortunately wasn’t much going on in the ring tonight, but I think the development of storylines really made up for that this week.
NOW CHECK OUT WADE KELLER’S REPORT ON THIS EPISODE: 10/2 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on fallout from Samoa Joe visiting Styles house last week, Super Show-down hype, Bryan-Shelton